"Stuffy, huh? I’ll give ya a little air!"
Description: James Cagney as psychopathic hoodlum Arthur Cody Jarrett talks to Roy Parker (Paul Guilfoyle), a snitch locked in the trunk of a car in the motion picture White Heat (1949). Of course, Cody kindly provides ventilation for the man by emptying his gun into the truck and its occupant. Earlier, Roy Parker asked, "You wouldn't kill me in cold blood, would ya?" Cody replied, "No, I'll let ya warm up a little."
After Cody and his gang rob a fortune from a train and kill four people, Cody confesses to another crime that occured in another state at the same time to avoid the gas chamber. Sentenced to two years in prison, Cody still controls his gang from the inside and waits for the day he's released from jail.
"Yeah. It's like....having a red-hot buzz saw inside my head." - Cody [to Ma about the severe headaches he's been having]
When Cody's right hand henchman Big Ed Somers (Steve Cochran) gets too ambitious and wants to be boss, Cody comments, “Big Ed...great Big Ed. You know why they call him Big Ed? Cause he’s got big ideas. One day, he’s gonna get a big idea about me...and it’s gonna be his last.”
During a prison visit, Cody's mom (Margaret Wycherly) tells her son that she will take care of Big Ed. Unfortunately, Cody's wife, Verna Jarrett (Virginia Mayo) who was cheating on her husband with Big Ed shoots Ma in the back. When Cody learns his mother is dead he goes berserk in the mess hall and escapes from prison. Later Verna blames Big Ed for killing Cody's mom. Of course, Cody kills him.
When Cody realizes that Vic Pardo, a trusted con who befriended Cody in prison is actually Hank Fallon (Edmond O'Brien), an undercover agent in search of the Cody's stolen money, he shouts, "A copper, a copper, how do you like that boys? A copper and his name is Fallon. And we went for it, I went for it. Treated him like a kid brother. And I was gonna split fifty-fifty with a copper!"
At the film’s conclusion, Cody is pursued by the police after a failed payroll heist at a chemical plant in Long Beach, California and takes refuge at the top of a giant gas storage tank. Seeing no escape, the maniacal momma’s boy cries, “Made it, Ma! Top of the world!” and fires his gun as the flammable contents of the tank explode and light up the night sky.